Have you ever looked at something, turned your head, and said: “What if I could use that thing to help me hit?!”
It’s totally okay if you haven’t…but you’d be surprised how many of us are out there.
I honestly think it’s one of my crazy superpowers. Some of my students call me weird, and honestly, I take it as a compliment.
I think my weirdness started when I went to a Notre Dame Softball camp and at one of the hitting stations we used something called a “ChuckIt”. We were told works on improving your bat-whip. In case you’re curious and want to look it up, yep, it’s a dog’s toy. This is what my honest brain said when I picked it up: “How the heck is a DOG TOY supposed to improve my swing?!”
Guys, I was totally proven wrong…
THE DANG THING WORKED!
That crazy toy, that was created for lazy people to throw a tennis ball to play catch with their DOG, helped me find more bat whip (and overall bat speed) in my swing than any other drill I’ve ever been exposed to. My mind (and I think my dad’s, too) was blown. I’m pretty sure we ordered that $5 toy online almost immediately.
After that, I started looking at pretty much everything in a different light, which is why sometimes I use REALLY WEIRD tools in lessons, and which is also why I could relate to a drill a friend of mine put up on his social media page a few days ago…
Check it out:
Ryan Fuller (who has a company called Fuller Hitting that you should totally go and follow right now!!), put up this drill the other day in his Instagram story AND I LOVED IT!
It’s a PURE example of creating a phenomenal drill out of almost nothing! Have you ever been told to “squish the bug” when you were originally taught how to hit?! …ME TOO!
But, the exact minute I learned that your back leg should be DRIVING rather than SPINNING, I started feeling a MAJOR difference in my swing and noticed I was getting to the ball FASTER!
Okay, here’s where the “nerdiness” of my college education comes in:
What you want to focus on in this drill, other than trying to avoid hitting the bucket with your heel, is to really think about driving with the INSIDE part of your back foot to the ball. Essentially, you want to think of your body like a “chain”: your foot connects to your ankle, your ankle connects to your calf, then your knee…you get the point.
IT’S ALL CONNECTED!
You want to work UP the chain to drive to the ball, not the other way around. If you imagine pushing the ball of the inside part of your back foot into the ground, your knee automatically starts driving towards the ball, and the straighter the knee path is to the ball, the quicker you get to it. Essentially, if your heel spins into the bucket, that means you’re not using the ground to PUSH off of to get to the ball. You’re really just driving all of your power straight into the ground (like a screw)…which is obviously NOT where you want your power to go.
Wait…you’re telling me you don’t need a ridiculously expensive device to become better at baseball/softball?!
Ryan’s drill reminded me that sometimes, you don’t have to buy that $1000 device to improve your swing. Plain and simple. You just need some creativity and some pretty darn good work ethic.
What do YOU have lying around your house that may be able to help you improve your swing? I bet there’s more than you think.
Check out more of my favorite hitting drills on my YouTube Channel!